Port Adelaide Library:
Name added to memorial 1918
He was nominated by the Working Men’s Association.
Contemporary press clippings:
OUR ROLL OF HONOR.
Mr. James Frost Donnell.
Mr. J. F. Donnell, whose portrait we give to-day, is one of the few remaining founders of the Port Adelaide Working Men's Association, having been connected with that association from its inception in 1872. He was born at Camden Town, London, on October 12, 1839, removing to Kentish Town while very young. He was educated at Palmer's Grammar School, and at the Church of England School, and was afterwards apprenticed to the firm of Tyler Brothers, ship-owners, of London. Towards the end of 1853 he went on a round voyage to Kurrachee, Bombay, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Whampoa, thence returning to London. He made another voyage to Hong Kong, and was engaged in trading on the Chinese coast until 1857, when he again returned to London, and in the following year came to Adelaide in the same ship, the Sir James, when all hands left the ship. He stayed in Adelaide till 1859, when he shipped in the Libertus for Singapore and joined H.M.S. Esk, on which vessel he served until the crew was paid off at Ports mouth. In 1861 he again shipped to Adelaide in the Northern Light, and made the voyage home again in her, finally leaving England for Adelaide in the Orient in 1863.
As before stated he joined the Port Adelaide Working Men's Association at its foundation in 1872, and was appointed its first chairman, a position which he has held four times since. He was appointed a trustee in 1872, and chairman of trustees in 1894, which position he still holds. He represented the society on the Trades and Labor Council in 1885-6, and on the Trades Congress in 1886. He joined the Duke of Portland Lodge, G.U.O.O;F., in June, 1865, and in June, 1873, was appointed secretary, which position he has held continuously to the present date. He is also a member of Court Australia's Pride, A.O.F., in which he has held various offices. Mr. Donnell has always taken an active interest in all matters affecting the workers at Port Adelaide, among whom his name is a household word, while the Working Men's Association, of which he is so prominent a member, is known throughout the ranks of unionism for its generous help in every case of need.
February 19 1898 Weekly Herald